Clovis Community College will have men’s and women’s soccer teams this year — along with a new mascot.
The Clovis Crush, depicted by a charging bull, will adorn the uniforms of the campus’s newest student-athletes.
“The Clovis Crush is strong, innovative, modern and unique and represents California’s newest community college well,” said Clovis Community College spokeswoman Stephanie Babb.
The men’s soccer team will be headed by Clovis native and former Olympian Chad McCarty.
McCarty played as a defender and midfielder for various U.S. National teams from 1993 to 2003. He was captain of the U.S. men’s Olympic soccer team for the Sydney, Australia games in 2000 and earned 4th place, the best ever U.S. finish at the Olympics.
McCarty has coached for various organizations including the Clovis North boys soccer team, Futsal Clovis, Olympic Development Program, California Odyssey Soccer Club and the McCarty Soccer Academy. He holds a National B coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation.
“Clovis Community College is fortunate to have someone of coach McCarty’s caliber to lead the inaugural men’s soccer program,” said Susan Yates, the college’s athletic director. “He brings with him such high expertise and experience to launch a top soccer team that adds to the exceptional programs offered at Clovis Community College.”
McCarty said he is looking forward to coaching at the community college level and providing opportunities to local students.
“It’s an exciting time for soccer players in the Central Valley,” McCarty said. “I anticipate Clovis Community College to be a stepping stone to bigger and better things for these student-athletes.”
McCarty is no stranger to extraordinary opportunities. He grew up in Clovis and received an athletic scholarship to University of Washington. He played Major League Soccer as a defender for the Tampa Bay Mutiny from 1998 to 2001, and for Columbus Crew from 2001 to 2003.
Becoming an Olympian at age 23 was an unforgettable moment, McCarty said.
“Representing the United States overseas is such an honor,” he said. “To be recognized as one of best soccer players in the country and compete internationally — it was unlike anything i’ve ever been a part of and a honor very few people get to do. I am grateful and blessed to have competed for America.”
McCarty has been the boy’s soccer coach at Clovis North High School — a program he also started from scratch — for the past nine seasons. He is also an owner and agent for McCarty Insurance in Fresno.
“Soccer is part of my life and will always be a part of my life,” McCarty said. “I look forward to using my experience as a professional and international athlete to help young players get to the next level.”
McCarty is in the fifth week of a six-week performance training soccer course at Clovis Community College, which meets four days a week for 75 minutes. Some of the students in that class will go on to join the soccer team in the beginning of the fall semester next month.
“The idea is to help kids from our community improve their lives both through soccer and academics,” McCarty said. “This will give them a platform for them to compete elsewhere and show everyone outside of the Valley what they’re capable of.”
The coach said he has already talked to talented students who recently graduated from high schools in Clovis, Fresno, Madera and Chowchilla.
“We’ve lined up very talented players so we can be competitive right from the start,” he said.
The team’s roster won’t be final until after the school year begins Aug. 15, officials said. Students interested in playing on the college’s inaugural men’s or women’s soccer teams can contact athletic counselor Karie Hannigan at (559) 325-5352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clovis Community College is part of the Central Valley Conference of the California Community College Athletic Association. The first match of the season will be played at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 in the Lake Tahoe Showcase. The first home contest will be played at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, against College of the Siskiyous.
“Everyone should come and check it out,” McCarty said. “It’s a beautiful campus and a beautiful field. The soccer field is right in the middle of the campus next to the cafe, so people can grab something to eat and enjoy a practice or a game. Students in the classroom can even look outside and see us on the field. It’s a unique setup and it’s going to be a fun venue.”